Flagship Bose headphones make surprisingly rare appearance [Setups]


Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones setup
You'd think we'd see top Bose headphones, like the QuietComfort Ultras shown on the right, in setups more often.
Photo: MagneticMotion@Reddit.com

When it comes to fantastic and popular over-ear noise-canceling headphones that don’t stray too far from the realm of affordability, certain brands typically leap to mind. Apple. Beats. Sony. Sennheiser. Audio-Technica. Bose. And yet we noticed how seldomly flagship cans from Bose, one of the most famous and well-regarded brands in the United States, crop up in our computer setups coverage. Take the brand’s current top dog, for example — Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones.

Today’s M2 Max MacBook Pro setup brings in a set of Bose Ultras alongside AirPods Pro 2, for when the user needs bigger audio guns with greater comfort than Apple’s top earbuds.

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Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones join AirPods Pro 2 in M2 Max MacBook Pro setup

Redditor MagneticMotion (“MM”) showcased the clean and complete setup in a post entitled, “Updated setup.” The updates refresh their setup from its state shown in another post 7 months earlier. We covered the refreshed setup with a focus on its M2 Max MacBook Pro and its Dell 4K external display in late January.

Now we’ve decided to look into a question that has vexed us ever since. Why don’t we see Bose’s top headphones in setups more often, like we do AirPods Max and great cans from Beats, Sony, Sennheiser and others? (And going forward, new Sonos Ace headphones, no doubt.) After all, we’ve all known folks who swear by Bose, haven’t we?

Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones make first appearance

Surprisingly, MM’s setup marked only the first time Bose QC Ultras appeared in a Cult of Mac Setups post. Granted, the cans only debuted in September 2023, updating the fairly recent QC45 model. But when we dug a bit deeper, we found other Bose flagship headphones showed up rarely, too. In the roughly 500,000 Setups posts we’ve written since the beginning of 2021 — OK, you got us, it’s only almost exactly 500 — top Bose over-ear cans showed up seven other times.

And some of those models go back years. Here’s the tally on those seven other appearances since the beginning of 2021: twice for Bose QC45, launched in September 2021; twice for Bose 700, launched in June 2019; once for QC35 II, launched in 2017; and twice for QC35, launched in 2016.

Given pricing at about $429, you’d think Bose QC Ultras would show up nearly as often as some of the other premium noise-canceling cans in the eight months since their release, including the $549 AirPods Max. And yet they don’t. Since the Ultras came out, AirPods Max have appeared in at least 16 setups posts. 

Bose QC Ultra features

Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones in case
There’s a reason you see top Bose headphones on airplanes a lot — top noise cancellation (along with audio quality and comfort).
Photo: Bose

The Bose QC Ultras may be priced at a slight premium over top cans like Sony WH-1000XM5, maybe $50 on average, and perhaps that makes a big difference. Perhaps a lot of people hesitate to spend over $400 when good options sit at $300 and $350.

But Bose’s top contender certainly doesn’t lack great features and an excellent reputation for comfort and leading ANC. Here are its main features:

  • Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones with spatial audio offer immersive listening and CustomTune technology with personalized sound shaped to you.
  • The noise cancelling headphones feature Quiet Mode, Aware Mode and Immersion Mode, which combines full noise cancellation and Bose Immersive Audio.
  • Microphones focus on the sound of your voice and the noise cancelling headphones with mic filter out background noise for the clearest phone calls of any Bose headphones.
  • Soft ear cushions hug your ears and the band spreads pressure evenly for comfort.
  • Advanced Bluetooth 5.3 offers connection within 30 feet of your device; SimpleSync allows you to sync with a Bose smart soundbar so you can listen to TV at your own volume.
  • Listen longer with up to 24 hours of battery life (up to 18 hours with Immersive Audio), a 15-minute charge offers up to 2.5 hours of play time (up to 2 hours with Immersive Audio).
  • Touch controls on each earcup allow you to change volume, skip tracks, answer calls and change modes; you can also turn the Bluetooth headphones on/off simply with head motions.

And if you like the desktop wallpaper showing on the external display, you can find it here.

Shop these items now:

Bose headphones and AirPods Pro 2:

Computer and accessories:

Display and mount:

Input devices:


Furniture and accessories:

If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches, challenges and plans for new additions.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones

These premium wireless noise cancelling over-ear headphones feature spatial audio, luxurious comfort, up to 24 hours of battery life and more. Colors: black, sandstone or white smoke (shown).

Buy now
06/11/2024 01:59 am GMT


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